Friday, September 25, 2009

Candle Making

Candle making is an art that offers creative opportunities for creative people. There are several ways of decorating candles aesthetically using dyes, paints and decorations such as flowers, leaves, beads, buttons,  etc. You can give unique effects by adding ice pieces, chunks of wax etc and a snowy effect by whisking up wax a bit. Here we have given the materials needed and basic method for making a candle. You can also try out the various ways in which a plain candle can be made to look spectacular.
  • Wax - Paraffin wax or Bee wax 
  • Mould - Rigid and Flexible (Readymade Moulds) moulds are available in different shapes and sizes.
  • Wicks  - Braided cotton wicks are available in flat and round shapes in different thickness or sizes.
  • Wicking Needle
  • Mould seal
  • Candle Dyes or crayons 
  • Double boiler
  • Brush
  • Oil
Wax are of two types. Paraffin (a by product of oil refining) and Bee Wax (a natural product). They are usually available as blocks. Paraffin wax are also available as Cylinders or flakes. Apart from blocks, Bee wax is also available as thin sheets. This sheets can be rolled with a wick inserted to make hand made candles.
Rigid and flexible candle moulds are available from craft shops or else we can use any heat resistant materials like steel, tin or aluminum as moulds for making candle. Pots, cake moulds, egg shells, cans or tins with their top part removed make good moulds.
Wax soluble dyes are available from shops to give colour to the candles. They are also available in powder form. We can use Poster paints and wax crayons instead of Readymade wax dyes.
Procedure to make a Basic candle :
  • Lightly brush a flexible or rigid mould with any clear vegetable oil and blot any excess with some paper towel.
  • Thread the appropriate wick into a wicking needle and thread it through the hole in a rigid mould. Flexible moulds do not normally have a prepared hole, so it will be necessary to pierce one.
  • Release the wick from the needle, allowing about an inch extra and seal around the hole with mould seal. Instead of fixing the wick as given above you can prime the wick. 'Priming' is dipping the wick three to four times in boiling wax at equal intervals to get a coating of wax over it. This makes the wick stand straight.
  • Suspend the wick vertically in the mould by tying it to a  split cane or a toothpick. Cut off excess wick and stand or balance the mould in an upright position. Moulds with uneven bottoms should be kept inside some other flat bottomed container vertically.
  • Melt the wax in a double boiler or a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the candle dye if you are using any, until it is evenly distributed. You can use Poster paints and wax crayons instead of Readymade wax dyes. 10% Stearin or Stearic Acid is added while using paraffin wax, to slow down the burning rate and to help harden the wax.
  • Pour the melted wax into the mould and allow it to settle. When awell has formed around the wick, carefully top off with more melted wax and allow it to harden overnight.
To release the candle from a rigid mould invert it and give it a gentle tap. Carefully peal off a flexible mold (for example an eggshell), starting at the top and pealing the mould gently all around the candle.

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